Which of these photos stands out the most to you?
There is no correct answer to this question. Instead, imagine these photos represent you and your biggest competitor; we’ll say you are Photo A and your competitor is Photo B.
While your photo is good, it could be made better if it had more shading or even some color. Now, let’s look at Photo B (your competitor).
They’ve taken the time to really nail down how they want customer to perceive them. They’ve added small details that you don’t necessarily notice upon first glance, but that really make the picture feel whole.
What does this have to do with standing out from your competitor in the search results page? The short answer is everything.
Photo A (your company) is only displaying ads with little context that relates back to your company or your unique features and benefits. Your competition (Photo B) is not only giving a holistic picture of the company, but also has additional things like ad extensions (extensions expand your ad with additional information, giving people more reasons to choose your business) and connecting keywords to your ad copy (using the targeted keyword within your ad to improve ad relevance).
Consider these three aspects when developing your ad structure to ensure your ads turn out like a masterpiece.
Utilize All Ad Copy and Extensions
Before diving into ad creation, form an outline that highlights a few themes you want to get across to your customer.
For example, a couple themes could be promotional, exclusive products, or the unique qualities that separate you from your competitors. These themes will help get your thoughts in line so that the ad is put together seamlessly rather than being all over the place.
Secondly, in ad copy, you want to make sure you have full coverage of your ad extensions.
Ad extensions are an essential part of the ads since, without them, your quality score could suffer, resulting in inflated CPCs and lowering your quality score. They also take up more space on the results pages, pushing competitors further down the page.
Similarly, if you have full coverage of extensions, then Google’s algorithm will be able to adjust what the customer sees based on a user signals (device, demographic, etc) and how likely they are to click on your ad.
Leverage Smart Bidding Strategies
Smart Bidding (or automated bidding) strategies are a great way to help push you past your competitors, as many companies are still on manual bidding (a more time intensive process).
These automated strategies help evaluate all factors of a user when your bid is adjusted (i.e., device, age, gender, household income, etc).
Due to how new Smart Bidding is, most companies aren’t taking advantage – which means that you can get premier positioning or lower CPCs while still staying within your CPA (cost-per-action) or ROAS (return on ad spend) goals.
These bidding strategies add another layer to your PPC account, setting yourself apart from the competition.
Review Your Competition’s Website & Ads
While this seems like a no-brainer, most companies don’t take the time to really dive into their competition to see why a customer may choose them over you.
Some key points to look at holistically are where your competitors rank for key terms and if there are any gaps in the keyword space. You should also examine how they have their site structured, and whether they’re making use of Schema markup.
Also, be sure to see how they phrase their ad copy and position themselves to customers. If these competitors are ranking in a similar page position to you, differentiating yourself in ad copy could mean the difference between a customer clicking through to your site or going to your competitor’s.
Finally, there are many resources available to help you analyze your competitors, including SEMrush and SpyFu.
Remember, utilizing ad extensions will help fill your ad position and give you full coverage for ad copy. Make sure to test Smart Bidding strategies since they are newer to the scene and most companies aren’t partaking in them. And finally, look at your competitors closely to find gaps that you can swoop in and claim for your business.
For more information on how to know if your competitors are beating you on Google, learn how to see if your competition is beating you on Google.